preview film


notes / stills



Cankun Aluminium Recycling Facility, Zhangzhou, China
Making Pictures  (2005)

The film was put together after returning from an extremely bizarre three week trip in mainland China. In May 2005, I was hired to work as a camera technician on a documentary film about a Canadian fine art photographer who ‘makes pictures’ of massive industrial projects. In that 3 week period our small crew traveled constantly from one alien landscape to another to observe the photographer at work. There was something intense and odd about the exercise that I could not fully articulate in the moment. Something about the contrast between the ‘work’ of the photographer and that of the millions making appearances in his photographs. Though I was thoroughly preoccupied with the job that had brought me to these unbelievable places, I did manage to record tiny fragments of the trip with my own super-8 camera.

Upon returning, I developed the film by hand with a solution that caused the grain to swell dramatically. I made test prints by blowing the original up to  35mm on an optical printer and isolated specific moments through a combination of step printing and freeze framing. What had started out as a simple home movie became something far more complex. Bearing witness to a society immersed in a full scale industrial revolution brought up very difficult questions about the sustainability of our way of life and about the function of art in that context.

Technical Specifications
year(s) of production  2005
negative format super-8mm black & white (7266)
print format 35mm black & white (5302)
aspect ratio 1:1.37
projection speed 24fps
running time 13:00
cd sound

John Price : cinematography, negative processing, optical blow-up printing, print processing, editing, sound design & mix.